As the US's impending withdrawal from the INF and continuing drumbeat of bellicose rhetoric from senior Trump administration officials strain ties between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia revealed on Friday that the two world leaders are planning to meet on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires.
The two leaders are also expected to meet briefly in Paris on Nov. 11 during an event to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War I. A spokesman for the Kremlin said that, while the meeting in Paris will be "brief", the meeting at the G-20 will be somewhat more involved, according to Sputnik.
"The G-20 meeting will be long and thorough, and in Paris, it will be short, brief," presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said.
Trump is also reportedly expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the conference, a meeting that was recently upgraded to a "meeting plus dinner", according to media reports. While a tentative agreement is in place, the exact timing of the meeting is still being worked out. The summit is expected to begin later this month.
"It’s hard to say an approximate meeting time, it’s impossible at present," Ushakov noted.
Since the US first informed Russia about its plans to withdraw from the INF, Putin has insisted that Russia has complied with the treaty, while a Russian diplomat confirmed that the country is "preparing for war", including rounding out its "unstoppable" missile arsenal, but only so it can defend its people from an attack.
Last month, National Security Advisor John Bolton invited Putin to Washington for a meeting with Trump in early 2019 after meeting with Putin and other senior Kremlin officials in Moscow to discuss the fate of the INF. The two leaders famously met in Helsinki earlier this year and demonstrated a close relationship that elicited howls of outrage from liberals and the media.